Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tour de Food,, France

Read an interesting article this week in the WSJ -- an American cyclist is doing the grueling Tour de France bike race on a vegan diet.

Two factoids leaped out at me as I read: these bikers burn through an amazing 8,000 calories a day, and boy, do they protein load!

What I wouldn't give to burn 8,000 calories in a day... could my body even do that? I'd probably collapse.

The story caught my eye just because I'm still trying to find the right protein/veggie balance post-surgery. Morally speaking, I'd love to be a vegan -- I just can't stand how most animals are treated on industrial farms. But physically, my body seems determined to make me a meat-eater!

Whatever I eat, I'm trying to live by the golden rule -- it's not what you consume, it's how much you consume that really matters.

When I saw what the vegan bicycler eats as part of his Tour de France diet, I once again realized my sense of food portions is way, way, way off.

Yes, he eats a lot, but nowhere near as much as I would have thought. Of course, the portions aren't given in the article, but still..... doesn't seem like 8,000 calories to me!

Those who want to can read the whole article here, but below is a list of what he eats on his bike -- what do you guys think? Is it a lot of food? (I know it is a lot of food, but for an 8,000 calorie burn, I mean).


Oatmeal with black strap molasses; whole food optimizer; cacao nibs; nuts; cinnamon; two tablespoons of coconut butter; an apple; hemp seeds and flax seeds

On-the-Bike Snacks:

Six Clif Bar Z bars (vegan); two Clif Bar shot blocks (vegan); two Clif Bar gels (vegan); dates; six to eight bottles of special team race drink

On the Bus, Post-Race:

White rice with maple syrup and cinnamon; vegan protein shake;

two bottles of special team recovery protein drink; goji berries

Before Dinner:

Vegan protein shake


White rice or pasta; salad with leafy greens; vegetables —including broccoli, spinach, carrots and beets.


Fresh fruit and a vegan protein shake before bed


  1. Dang! I think the breakfast and snacks are really high calorie, but who knows about the rest. It's hard without actually seeing it.

  2. It is a lot of food, and he is lucky right now that he can use up all the carbs. He needs to be really careful about his vitamin B levels. Your body will store 3 years' worth, so it will be interesting to see how is doing in a few years.

    I don't have a problem eating local meat or humanely treated animals. I need the animal protein. I just do better with it. I only want to make sure the animals had a good life while they were living.

  3. Well some of these things are a mystery to me (being a Brit) but I would have thought that 8000 cals would look a lot more FUN. I suspect that says a lot about me (none of it good)!